Former Maintenance Engineer WPFB-WPBF Middletown, Ohio

by Lynn Dudley
(Dayton, Ohio)

Paul F. Braden owned 3 stations, including WPAY, Portsmouth, Ohio, and WSMJ, Greenfield Indiana. He started a subsidiary, "Musiplex," which was competition for "Muzak." He also leased subcarriers on a Columbus Ohio station, and an outlet in Florida (I think Daytona Beach). Broadcast on one of the FM's subchannels, we recorded our own master tapes on Ampex 351's, and then they were turned over to me to duplicate.


In our control room, we had 3 Scully 270 machines, of which two were alternating cuts thru a sequencer. Only at Christmas time did we run all 3 on air. The third was my playback machine to copy the masters to Ampex 351's, so 4 copies were needed from each master. I could only dupe them in "x2" as the tapes were 3 3/4 IPS, and the common speed between the Scully's and Ampex's, was 7 1/2 IPS. Also damaged/mishandled tapes were shipped back to me to splice and/or re-record.

The Scullys were a great dependable machine. I don't recall ever "throwing a loop" during any rewind or fast forwarding. We cleaned each machine after each tape with isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips.

Eventually, a Scully 280 was added in the production room, and when asked, I showed Joel Moss, (then one of our FM jocks) what simulsync was. Joel has been the production mastermind at Clear Channel's CIncinnati's WLW, WEBN, and their other stations for the past 30 years, including putting the music together for WEBN's Labor day Fireworks.

I only recall having to change a transistor, when the foil activated reverse circuity failed on one of them. Otherwise, they performed flawlessly for the time I was there. (1973-1982)

Lynn Dudley

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Mar 28, 2017
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Sticky Shed Syndrome
by: Anonymous

Desiccating tape properly is easy enough, but even storing tape afterwards at idea temps and humidity will not return the tape to its youthful condition.

And Charles Richardson's very expensive process
http://rezerex.com/ conventional tape baking is
the the last resort.


However, there is Walter Davies' tape preserving formula. It's hardly inexpensive but combined with ideal tape storage practices there may be hope.
https://thelastfactory.com/tape-care-preservation/


Otherwise, given the sad realities of sticky shed syndrome, unless you're main goal is to digitize analog tape information why rebuild something like a bunch of Scully 270 players?


Oct 18, 2013
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Continuing the maintenance...
by: Joe Rother

In about 1987, I became the assistant engineer at the WPFB stations. Paul Braden had passed away about a year or two before, and his son Doug Braden was the stations G.M.

While I was there I worked to keep the Scully 270's operating. They were in use for their 67Khz subcarrier exclusivly at first. Just about the time I started there, we divided the 4 machines that were there at the time into two sets, and moved a another sequencer from another set of machines into the rack with the 270's to operate their 92Khz subcarrier.

The 3 smaller machines that had been in use for the 92Khz had proven to be too much for the part time, and weekend staff to keep up with. The extended run time, and auto reverse of the 270's solved the problem.

-Joe Rother

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